Islam a Religion of Peace, Qatar Conference Is Told

Muslim Says Koran Bans Taking of Innocent Life

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DOHA, Qatar, MAY 28, 2004 ( A Muslim representative told a conference on interreligious dialogue that Islam is a religion of peace that respects human life.

Sheikh Fawzy Fadel Al-Zafzaf, president of the Permanent Committee of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif for Dialogue with Monotheistic Religions, made that contention at a conference under way in this Persian Gulf state.

Al-Zafzaf explained to the audience at the Conference on Dialogue between Christians and Muslims that the Koran prohibits believers of Islam from putting an end to innocent lives.

The sheikh’s address was followed by that of Youssef Kamal El-Hage, a consultor for the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Muslims. He spoke about the four pillars of peace indicated by John XXIII in his encyclical «Pacem in Terris»: truth, justice, love and freedom.

The Catholic representative, a physics professor at Notre Dame University in Lebanon, said that authentic peace is built on respect of human rights.

The origins of the Doha conference go back to the first visit to Rome, in February, by the new ambassador of Qatar to the Holy See, Mohamed Alkawari, the Vatican Information Service noted.

At that time Alkawari expressed his government’s desire to initiate an Islamic-Christian dialogue together with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The latter welcomed the proposal and started organizing, along with the Gulf States Center of the University of Qatar, the conference. The three-day meeting ends Saturday.

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